Free Ebooks by Randolph Lalonde

Free Ebooks by Randolph Lalonde
Free Ebooks by Randolph Lalonde

Friday, June 3, 2011

Spinward Fringe & The Overwhelming Response

It's time for an update on what's going on with Spinward Fringe and other work. It's important to start by saying that half this update is about people responding to the series and opportunities to shape things around it.

The books continue to spread in the US and UK through Kindle, B&N and other eBook retailers to a lesser extent. Last month I received the first email from a reader in India, just one example of how this series doesn't sell heavily in one area, but lightly in many areas. Hearing from people across the planet is absolutely awesome. From Tehran to Texas, kind readers are enjoying the books and spreading the word. I couldn't be happier.

Then there's the Facebook page. I never thought it would be as busy as it has been. People are offering general comments, ideas about the store (see the Buttons update below), and coming together. All the while, nary a negative word is heard. Big thanks go out to the moderators and all the participants.

My first part time staffer is currently down with a summer cold, but she continues to work online. She's brought a few good ideas to the developing business side of Spinward Fringe, and is currently assisting with proofing on Spinward Fringe: Expendable Few. She'll also be working on the rest of the books with me as we get closer to presenting final edits. The focus is on new work right now, so the earlier books will get more attention when the next two are out. All in all, she's a big help, even with a head cold.

3D and CGI work for Spinward Fringe demonstration and cover graphics have ground to a halt because I haven't had time to finish so much as a serviceable sketch in months. There are two neglected CGI artists who are willing to create 3D models as soon as I send out a completed sketch, so it's something I'd like to get to. The off the shelf 3D models of characters are a little too anime or supermodel style for most of the Spinward Fringe characters, but I've found a couple ways to use them. Now it's just a matter of putting the hours in, which will happen sometime in the next couple of months. I'm just glad I don't have to have most of it designed from scratch, which would turn a $20.00 endeavour into a $20,000.00 project - minimum.

The Web/TV Series project is taking its first firm step. An account has been opened to collect funds for early development. The money will come from the Spinward Fringe store, and probably won't be spent for months or years. Unless a production company is interested in a partnership with me, it'll take years to get this going properly. The general sentiment I'm hearing about the series tells me that poeple would rather see a viable, long run show done properly than a short-run, cheap looking show that's bound for cancellation. I couldn't agree more. So, the journey begins, and people seem excited about the store.

The store is being simplified. The first thing we're releasing are buttons. Every month four new buttons will become available, and you have a say in which will come out first. So far the Facebook page has been the hub for ideas, and I'm amazed at how many people have stepped forward to offer their thoughts. A set of 4 buttons will cost $5.00 plus $2.00 shipping in the US and Canada. Shipping to the UK will cost $3.00.

T-Shirts and other apparel will be available by the end of the month through a third party. My adventures in finding a local provider for T-Shirts (among other things), over the last few months have demonstrated that I'd need a lot more space and money to do everything I'd like using local businesses. For a slightly higher cost per item but the same or less in shipping, a third party can provide the same or better quality and a much broader selection. I've decided that's the way to go.

Other items, like the scarf, embroidered patches and signed books, will still be handled in-house, and I'm working to get that set up by the end of the month as well. Spinward Fringe Broadcast 0: Origins will be the first book available. All proceeds from the store will go towards the development of the Spinward Fringe TV series. I'll also be keeping prices low.

Now to the updates that people are really waiting for.

Spinward Fringe: Expendable Few is back on track after running into a couple of problems. A partial re-write of a few chapters slowed things down for the last week and a half. The book is well over half finished, and I hope to have the last batch of chapters out to test readers by June 7. So far, test readers seem to like what they see, but I haven't heard back from several on the last batch of chapters. I'm sure I'll hear something shortly. I'm enjoying the process of writing an entirely new work in the Spinward Fringe universe and hope to deliver a very new experience that explores another side of things.

Spinward Fringe Broadcast 7: Framework is approximately 70% finished, and will be my focus once the aforementioned novella is complete. The Expendable Few is helping me develop Broadcast 7, and allowing me to expand the scope of the series without cluttering Framework, which is already a complex novel. Writing an ending to this series, even with the knowledge that there will be a Broadcast 8, is a difficult proposition, there are a lot of expectations for this book. I'm also pushing myself as a writer to take the characters and story to a new place while finishing plot lines that have been in motion for seven books.

The Dark Arts Novel is barely a side-project at this point, but a second draft of the first chapter has been completed. The writer's group I sit down with every Wednesday has taken a look at it, and the news is good. They had some important advice, and really enjoyed what they read, so the third draft of chapter one will be the real deal. My fears of having to write a brand new opening for the book are gone.

That third draft will wait until Expendable Few and Broadcast 7 are finished, but it's good to know that I have somewhere to start when I'm ready to take on my palette cleansing project. After writing over one point two million words of science fiction, Dark Arts is the perfect project to clear my head, work on a few other ideas, and experiment with before I begin Broadcast 8 and Broadcast 9.

Now for a personal update. I can't wait to get the Expendable Few, Broadcast 7 and the Dark Arts novel in front of people. There are other things going on behind the scenes that I can't talk about yet, and I'm anxious to break the silence. In even more general terms, I'm happy with the work I'm doing, even if working to a higher standard than usual has been slowing me down a great deal over the last year. It's been paying off, and I hope everyone sees a big difference when the next books are released.

I'm thankful to all the readers. Your patience should be legendary, and I hope you'll enjoy the books when they're finally ready for you.

RL

12 comments:

sta_jeff said...

Glad to see your stuff catching on more and more. Hope you have continued success and if anything we can do anything on the show, let us know

Jane said...

Randolph, I have to tell you that I haven't enjoyed a series as much as Spinward Fringe for a long long time! I got through all 7 books in a week, and they've been truly brilliant! Can't wait for Broadcast 7 - everything I read between now and then will pale in comparison. Honest. you've created a truly wonderful universe, filled with amazing characters. I'm a dedicated and zealous convert! please, keep up the good work. oh, and dif you need another test reader, I'm your gal :)

2bresolute said...

It is really neat to have each broadcast to look forward too, and I have no doubt it will be quality writing, as you are setting yourself high standards.

Just Please pace yourself and don't burn out on us! You are cranking out a LOT of work. I love the healthy idea of a "palette cleansing" project. We love your stuff, and we'd wait ten years between releases if we had to! It is that good. Giftedness, Work and Vision like yours comes along rarely and we treasure it. So be as Good and True to yourself as you are trying to be to us. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Well, I won't try to out praise all the comments you already have received;they say it pretty well! ONE QUESTION!: In order to keep me from cold-turkey addiction withdrawal cramps and severe depression while awaiting the next release, is there a way to download everything that has been released so far in the 'Strange Horizons..' living document??? Smashwords, etc., no such luck! Please, please help, Randolph, I NEED a small fix to help me through! After all, as the Pusher-man who turned me on to my first taste for free, in order to hook me, it's the least you can do! Oi! Semper Fidelis! Glenn

Randolph said...

Hallo Anonymous!

I'm afraid the Strange Horizons and Close Encounters was pulled because the direction of the project wasn't quite right at first.

The anthology will be a collection of work written by other authors in the Spinward Fringe sandbox, so out of all the books that one will take the longest to produce.

As for the cold turkey problem, well, I can only respond by saying that two books are well on the way. If you'd like to hang out with other Fringers (Spinners?), then you'll find plenty here:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_60355282837

Goodreads Official Group: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/41338.Spinward_Fringe_The_Official_Group

Cheers!

RL

Anonymous said...

Hallo, RL! I appreciate the fast response to my pressing medical emergency! However, be advised that Twelve Step programs have never worked for me. All anyone wants to do is whine about the symptoms of withdrawal, blame and curse the one who got them started, or relive the "Glory Days" at the height of their addiction, i.e. The capture of Triton, Jake and Ayan's psuedo-reunion, the retaking of Triton, etc. Ah, well! I guess it's straight jackets and round, padded rooms for me, then. Maybe when Broadcast 7 and 8 come out, instead of a giant hypo and a funnel, they can let me take small sips through a straw until I'm half normal again! Keep up the good fight and if they see fit to give me internet access at the asylum I'll talk to you again. Oi! Watch your six for that 'one legged chicken on LSD', that Lister is liable to ruin us all!! Aways Faithful, Glenn

Raul Del-Llano said...

Dear Randolph I must admit I came across Broadcact 0 completely by accident, and was instantly hooked! I have not read a story this well developed in a long time. So I purchased the rest right away. I was not disappointed! If you keep righting like this, and I have no reason to doubt that you can. I can see myself devoting many hours of pleasurable reading in the Fringe Universe. Thank you ! Respectfully Raul Del-Llano Bronx, NY.

jonhpaint said...

I'm one of your newest UK readers I've been a sci fi fan from the age of 8 I am now 72 up untill now my favourite author was L.E. Modesitt of Utah I can only say that you're up there with him carry on the good work don't let the inkwell run dry
Jonhpaint

Jackie said...

I'm a 63 year old female who has been reading Sci Fi since I could read. I LOVE Spinward Fringe. However please get a professional proof reader because all the errors are extremely distracting and I have to stop and make corrections in my head. No I'm not an English teacher, just an avid reader. Keep writing! Jackie

Randolph said...

Hello Jackie,

Happy to hear you've enjoyed the books so far. Since the issue you raise has been addressed more than once on the blog, I won't go into details, but there is a series wide edit currently underway.

RL

Certifried said...

Mr. Lalonde, like others here, I downloaded "Broadcast 0" as part of Barnes and Noble "free Friday". I had it sitting around on my Nook for a few months while I powered through all the Dean Koontz novels I could. While waiting for the latest Koontz arrival, I delved in to the world of Spinward Fringe. I've now purchased every broadcast out, and Dean Koontz has 2 novels on my back burner. Yes sir, that's right, you've misplaced Dean Koontz for this reader. I just love the depth of the characters you bring! Thank you.

Mark Nielsen

Sheila Hall said...

I ordered Brightwill :) any idea when it will ship? You say there are only a few signed ones left. I hope I didn't wait too long. PayPal says it's ordered. Congrats on Dark Arts. I love it and think it will do well.